Council of Elders Activities Talking Leaf Newsletter
Newsletters Click on Month January
Meeting Newsletter, February,
The first Tonkawa
meeting of the new year, noon, second Sunday 2003, is held in the newly
dedicated Chester Hunt Community Center. This meeting place is located
at the Many Nations In Recovery Organization: 3928 Illinois St.
Tonkawa President Esther Abrahano is the first to arrive at the Community
center. Exec. Secretary Roy Cook is pokey to arrive with the keys to the
room and the facilities. Getting the coffee going and setting up the tables
and chairs are part of this 'shakedown' and feeling out of the new space
anxiousness regarding the possibility that no one could find the place
were quickly put aside as the Tonkawa members entered with smiles and
ohs and ahhs. Wonderful aromas and delightful surprises are lining up
in the serving counter. More Tonkawa members keep arriving and are starting
to form groups of conversations bringing each other up to date following
the holidays and looking forward to having a regular place to meet. Just
as the coffee is ready for testing and the bare tables were covered with
colorful covers, Jane Dumas arrives. She
starts right in greeting many friends and meeting new visitors. It is
nice to see Don and Jean Vingualt joining in with the Tonkawa activity.
Yvon and Marga Troha were warmly greeted with hugs and good wishes. Paul
and Helen Razo were accompanied by two of their many grandchildren. Children,
adults, women, men, Elders. Traditional tribal culture will always strive
toward a proper balance in most activities. Our traditional ways are most
important to these wisdom keepers, the Tonkawa Council of Elders.
Officers: President, Esther Abrahano, Vice President, Jane Dumas, Treasurer,
Vickie Gambala, Secretary, Helen Razo are all present. The Tonkawa meeting
is called to order by President Esther Abrahano and she provides the blessing
in her Choctow language. A sign up sheet is circulating as announcements
and acknowledgments are made.
Jane Dumas is called upon to share her experience and history of Tonkawa.
Tonkaweya: They all stay together. She said, "I will be great if things
could be active again. We have lost many active Indian members recently,
we need to see what we can do to help our Indian seniors. I am sad today
because a friend of the Indian people is no longer with us. Dr. Forence
Shipek, the author of Autobiography of Delfina Cuero, was found in her
home, she had fallen and was found by the bed, by her son, Carl. She didn't
recover and died in the hospital. We used to talk often and I asked my
daughter, Dalene Adams, to call her because I was concerned over recent
setbacks in her condition. We will miss her." Jane also shared, "The Tonkawa
year begins in April and I know Vickie is here to collect the annual dues.
Nellie Ruiz is our greeter and has always called the Tonkawa members to
let us know about the meeting and activities. We
are a not for profit organization and I remember that in 1981 the downtown
Indian Clinic was re-opened under the Tonkawa 501c3 paperwork." All the
Tonkawa officers are introduced and just as the members are getting itchy
Esther said. "It is time to Eat!"
The Tonkawa Elders
meetings are focused, this is one of the great potluck meetings to attend.
They know what is good and they like to share their favorites in good
company. Baked Ham, Fried Chicken, Chili Beans, Rice, Sardines, Salads,
Ambrosia, Cookies and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, soft drinks and coffee were
all good. Wonderful socializing and laughter swirled from table to table.
moving around for their second cup of coffee and other goodies when Esther
once again brought focus to the meeting by announcing a seminar later
that afternoon at the Methodist Church. All were invited to attend. Veronica
McCune reinforced this viewpoint and that we need to support Esther and
her Church activities.
is discussion on a proposed total community Easter egg hunt in cooperation
with the office of State representative Bob Filner. Helen Razo agreed
to accept a little help with the secretary duties and the membership supported
assignment of the executive secretary duties to Roy Cook. He with Steve
Gomez will continue to pursue resources in support of the goals and mission
of the Tonkawa Council of Elders. Rose Davis, publisher of INDIAN VOICES,
is taking many pictures during the meeting and will be running a story
on the Tonkawa Gathering. Mary Jenkins is encouraged by Rose Davis to
put together a story from her point of view and Helen Halling is real
pleased to see the group get together again.
Discussion continued on the hi points and hi jinks of past Tonkawa activities.
Vickie Gambala recalled the many trips the group had taken together. Everyone
enjoyed these humerous accounts.
This is the way the meeting kept going, laughter and lessons shared from
the Elders life experiences, good times. The traditional gift exchange
is carried over for next months meeting along with the group birthday
party for eveyone with a birthday that month. Good traditions, good times.
The meeting is ajorned at 2:30 pm.
I am humbled and grateful to enjoy and learn from our wisdom keepers in
the Tonkawa Council of Elders. Now that I qualify for regular membership,
55 years and over, along with Native American heritage of a recognized
tribe or tribes, I am looking forward to giving back, in a respectful
manner, some of my organzational and promotion experience to our Native
Maybe we will see you, bring a friend or two: associate memberships are
open to everyone any age or inclination, at the next meeting of the Tonkawa,
noon - second Sunday of the month at the Chet Hunt community center -
3928 Illinois St.
Respect Native American
5026 70 th. Street
San Diego, CA 92115-1805
WebMaster: Ben Nance